by Sue Maslin
(Curator of 2005 AICE Australian Film Festival in Israel) AICE (Australia Israel Cultural Exchange) has the pleasure of inviting you to a program that introduces the very best in contemporary Australian films and provides a context for the filmmakers by showing their earlier work and unfolding of their creative voice. The most exciting development in Australian cinema in recent years has been the rise of indigenous filmmakers and their unique and powerful engagement with the screen. This work is at the heart of the 2005 AICE Australian Film Festival beginning with the Opening Night Film, Beneath Clouds, directed by Ivan Sen, a poetic and raw evocation of the journey from isolated outback to city. The films are unlike anything you will have previously seen and range from documentaries about Aboriginal artists (Mr. Patterns), comedies about outback car maintenance (Bush Mechanics) to eloquent dramas set in the desert such as My Bed, Your Bed, directed by Special Festival Guest, Erica Glynn.
Other contemporary films include Somersault, the feature debut from Cate Shortland, which premiered at the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival in Un Certain Regard and was an outstanding critical success at the Australian Film Institute Awards. These films provide a prism of Australian stories, imagined and real, that will provoke and entertain and ultimately provide a greater understanding of our country and its people.